Microsoft Credit Card Ads, Format Triggers Ad Based On Real-Time Intent

Microsoft Advertising introduced credit-card ads in an open beta for advertisers in the U.S. and Canada.

The ads, introduced Tuesday, focus on real-time information related to brand names, card categories and credit levels.
Keywords are not required. Microsoft does not need to crawl the advertiser's website to generate content for this ad format. 

Credit-card ads are dynamically generated based on the information in the data feed file sent from each advertiser to Microsoft Advertising. The data file contains business information, such as the card issuer, annual fee and any sign-up bonus. The more details provided in the feed-file, the more information Microsoft can include in the ads.

This ad will appear on the right rail of Microsoft Bing's search results page (SERP) running alongside mainline text ads. The ad lets advertisers showcase various credit-card products and promotions, such as rewards and cash back percent.

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The auction is independent from text ads. Advertises can participate in credit-card ads, based on the cost per click, as well as text auctions simultaneously.

Microsoft Advertising’s Kevin Salat, product marketing manager; and Qin Xiao, program manager, suggests starting with between $100 and $500 per day to ensure consistent results to learn and optimize ads. “Set bid within the range of $2.50-$4.00 as the starting bid,” they write in a post. “Monitor performance and average position and adjust up or down accordingly.”

They also suggest setting location targeting in campaign settings in United States or Canada to ensure ads are eligible to serve all users searching from these countries.

Advertisers can customize ads by submitting and scheduling the feed based on attributes provided. The goal is to improve return on ad spend to increase volume, click-through rates, and lower the cost per click. The lack of required keywords should help to automate the process, according to Microsoft.

Earlier adopters -- bank issuer, comparison site and brands -- are seeing higher conversions and lower costs. Microsoft internal data cites one customer as seeing a 46% lift in conversion rate, and another as seeing 70% lower cost per acquisition.

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